The search engine world just got more crowded today as Microsoft unveiled Bing, which it calls the first step in quickening search while returning better results.

Microsoft is calling Bing a "Decision Engine" in a move that is similar to WolframAlpha’s "Knowledge Engine" that was released earlier this month. However, it appears that Microsoft may be planning more than search with Bing as it also refers to the new engine as a "consumer brand."

A visit to results in nothing at the moment, but the software giant says the service will roll out over the next few days and will receive a worldwide release next Wednesday.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, says there is room for improvement in the search engine marketplace and believes Bing is the first step in helping users to better utilize the information they find through search.

"When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the web," he said. "Bing is an important first step forward in our long-term effort to deliver innovations in search that enable people to find information quickly and use the information they’ve found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions."

The move to Bing means Microsoft will be rebranding a number of its search features including renaming Virtual Earth to Bing Maps for Enterprise and placing its Farecast feature as a central part of Bing Travel.

A new search engine is likely to cause a ripple effect in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) as companies attempt to figure out Microsoft’s new algorithm.